Dinner time without the drama? Yes, please!
If the thought of meal planning, grocery shopping and cooking every night of the week puts you off, consider meal delivery kits. Most work on a subscription model where you receive a set number of dinner packs each week. As long as your kitchen is stocked with pantry basics like oil, vinegar and seasonings, all you have to do is follow the step-by-step, easy instructions using the supplied portioned and prepared ingredients, and dinner is served!
Are meal kits healthy?
If you’re pressed for time or not confident in the kitchen, meal delivery kits can be a game changer. But are they healthy? On the plus side, research reveals popular meal delivery kits provide two to three serves of vegetables, and some have a high proportion of health-giving whole grains. The kilojoule, saturated fat and sodium content, however, vary significantly — sometimes even grossly exceeding recommended guidelines.
What about ready-made meals?
Just want to heat and eat? Ready-made delivered dishes can be a smart choice. If you want dietitian-approved convenience, choose a food product that has:
● A simple ingredients list made up of real, whole foods
● Around 1700kJ (400cal) per serve
● At least 15g protein per serve
● Less than 5g saturated fat per serve
● Less than 700mg sodium per serve
Traps and triumphs
Meal delivery kits can…
● Save you time by taking care of meal planning and shopping
● Help you eat more vegetables, if you select the ‘healthier’ meals menu option
● Teach new skills and shortcuts in the kitchen
● Waste less food as you receive exactly the amount you need for each recipe
● Expand your culinary horizons by exposing you to foods and flavours you might not usually cook with.
But, they also…
● Aren’t always healthy — watch out for recipes that use butter or salty sauces, and contain excessive kilojoules
● Don’t completely eliminate the need to pop to the shops
● May not cater for special dietary requirements
● Don’t necessarily save you money
● Can create a lot of waste, due to excess food packaging.
For more advice on healthy eating at home, we recommend: Meal planning with Susie Burrell and 5 meal prep tips for beginners.